Whether it’s chronic pain from an ongoing medical issue or acute pain caused by a recent accident/injury, the one thing you tend to look for first is relief. There are several ways one can alleviate their pain – some methods more effective than others, some providing more long term relief. While pain medications are the go-to-thought for most when it comes to finding this sense of relief, there is a tried and true method practitioners may recommend depending on the cause of your pain – chiropractic care.
If your practitioner has recommended chiropractic care and it’s your first time visiting a chiropractor, the thought can be quite nerve-wracking. Most typically associate chiropractic care with incessant cracking and while the cracking is associated, it makes up for a small part of the process. Our Richmond Hill chiropractic care clinic sees new patients constantly and we always like to ensure they are comfortable and more importantly, leave feeling better than when they came in.
If it’s your first time visiting a chiropractor, here is what you can expect from your initial visit:
An assessment is done before anything
Prior to starting any treatment, the chiropractor will first do an assessment of your pain/injuries. Initially, you will be asked how you got injured or what medical condition causes your pain, where the pain resides, how severe the pain is, and how long you’ve been feeling it. The chiropractor will then do a physical assessment which includes navigating where the pain predominantly is, any mobility issues, and the severity of the injury. For example, if you suffered whiplash in a motor vehicle accident, the chiropractor will assess your range of motion, what positions you experience the most pain in, and where on the scale your injury falls (in this case, the scale is from 1-4- one being no visible sign of injury with complaint and 4 being dislocation/fracture of the neck).
Once this assessment is complete, your chiropractor will be able to map out a treatment plan for you. This plan includes the methods they will utilize to treat you, how many sessions you may require, and an estimate of when you will recover.
A dive into the various methods used
Chiropractic care is quite complex and because of that, chiropractors like to ensure you understand how exactly everything they do will benefit you. Although, as previously mentioned, many people associate chiropractic care with JUST cracking, there is a lot more to it. Commonly used methods include:
- Deep tissue massages
- Heat/cold therapy
- Release work
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS)
Based on your initial assessment, your chiropractor will determine what methods they will utilize for maximum results and explain in greater detail how said methods work and how they will benefit you.
You may experience some discomfort
Will you experience relief at the end of it all? Yes. Will you experience some discomfort along the way? Also, yes. Many individuals note a level of discomfort during the treatment process. Why is this? Because chiropractors work with the injury directly, any treatment is being aimed at that specific part. For example, if you strained your back, you can usually feel pain upon touching the affected area where the knots are prevalent. Chiropractors dive right into where the pain is, applying pressure and techniques right at the source to alleviate pain sooner.
When it comes to adjustments, they aren’t painful per se, however, they do render some quite nervous. Adjustments involve loosening the joints (not the bones), and the process involves a quick pop to the affected area. The areas where adjustments are performed are the back and neck and each adjustment lasts less about a second.
If you experience discomfort throughout your session, it’s a normal part of the healing process. If you experience extreme discomfort, let your chiropractor know and they will do what they can to alter techniques or dial it down.
Your chiropractor will map out a plan for you
The initial assessment/treatment is very telling of how mild or severe your injury is and how long progression may take. After the session, your chiropractor will discuss a plan of action which includes how often you are required to go in for treatment and the estimated duration of the healing process. They will also make recommendations beyond treatment. For example, if you injured your lower back and partake in regular weightlifting, they may advise you to seize lifting or go light, depending on the severity of the injury. If you are an athlete, they can also help advise you of any limitations or risk factors to look out for.
The first visit to a chiropractor can be a nerve-wracking one, but it’s important to remember that they are there to help you recover quickly and effectively. Over time, the visits will become easier and the pain will subside as a result of the treatment. From motor vehicle accidents to sports injuries to chronic pain, chiropractic care can work wonders for your pain management and recovery.
Ready for your first visit to the chiropractor? Contact us today for a FREE consultation!